Happy July all! I’m always looking to push myself in baking and try new things, and I had the perfect opportunity when I went to a friend’s birthday. She’s vegan, and I wanted to bring her a birthday cake as a present. After lots of experimenting, and some rather foul-tasting bakes, I ended up with the recipe below.
This cake went down a real treat at the party – I received many, many compliments for it, and my brother ate it without even realising it was vegan!
NB: in the photo of this recipe, I used 1.5x the recipe for 3x layers. I also decorated with egg-free meringues, whose recipe I haven’t included here, as I may do a separate post on it in the future.
This recipe is plant-based/vegan.
To make g-f: replace self-raising flour with gluten-free self-raising flour.
- 350g firm tofu (i.e. one pack)
- 350g caster sugar
- 350g sunflour oil
- 263g self-raising flour
- 87g cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp cocoa nibs, plus some for decoration
- 2 punnets strawberries: 1 punnet chopped for the filling, 1 punnet kept whole for decorating
- 300g coconut cream, room temperature
- 300g dark chocolate (plant-based)
- water, room temperature
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
Makes 2x 20cm sponges
- To make the sponge:
Pre-heat an oven to 160C fan. (320F, fan.) Prepare your two 20cm tins by greasing and lining.
- Blend the tofu until creamy and smooth, with no lumps. (I used a handheld blender.)
- Use the all-in-one method, mixing together the tofu, caster sugar, oil, flour, cocoa powder and cocoa nibs in a bowl until smooth and combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two pre-prepared cake tins, and bake for 35 mins.
- Leave cakes to completely cool.
- To make the ganache:
(Please see ** before making)
Put the coconut cream in a bowl, and mix until smooth. Add water and mix, until you reach double cream consistency. (Thick, pouring cream)
- Melt the chocolate in a bain marie until completely melted. Add the golden syrup and combine to give a beautiful shine.
- Add the chocolate to the coconut cream and combine until thoroughly mixed through. Do not worry if it looks separated and gritty – keep mixing! It’ll all come together if you keep mixing.
- To decorate the cake:
**Ensure you have all your sponges, strawberries and cocoa nibs ready for decorating as soon as you make your ganache, as it stiffens incredibly quickly after you stop stirring it and it must be used immediately if you want it to keep its glossy shine. (As you can see from the photo, I did not realise this was the case and I ended up with dull ganache.) However, if you do leave it to one side after stirring and it seizes up, don’t worry! DO NOT reheat it (as this splits the chocolate), but simply keep stirring it until it reaches buttercream-like consistency and appearance. You can still use the ganache like this, but it will lose its beautiful shine.
- Dollop half of your ganache on the bottom sponge, and spread until even. Scatter the chopped strawberries and a sprinkling of cocoa nibs across the ganache, before adding the top sponge. Again, spread the rest of the ganache evenly across the top, before decorating with the whole strawberries, and a few more cocoa nibs.
- Serve! The cake should keep for around five days. It should be kept refrigerated, only because of the strawberries, which may decay too fast if left out.